February 1, 1868
Support for immigration of Europeans to Southern states is presented. These immigrants will be beneficial bringing with them money and labor skills, both of which are necessary to rebuild the economy.
Immigration. Office of the Domestic and European Agencies of Immigration for Virginia Richmond, Va., January 30, 1868. Editors of the Richmond Dispatch: Gentlemen,-In the course of our intercourse with the people on the subject of immigration, we have found that the proposed plan of our operation is misunderstood. We therefore request the liberality of your columns to explain it. The introduction of European laborers through the medium of an arrangement made with New York, emigration associations is not a part of our European and Domestic Agencies of Immigration. It is only a temporary private undertaking to supply the urgent demand for labor until our European and Domestic State Agencies inaugurate their plan of introducing immigrants directly from Europe more desirable, and such as are needed to redeem the State from her prostration. Mere laborers, such as are brought from New York, though they are European emigrants, do not constitute that class. Our plan is not to bring or receive here other immigrants than whole families that have the means to pay their passage and purchase lands in lots of from twenty to one hundred acres; for it is this class of people that supplies Europe with thrifty, sturdy, and worthy laborers for hire out of the surplus of their family labor. This class of immigrants will bring with them always some money to revive and increase our local commerce. They will become producers on their own farms, and thus increase the pabulum that feeds and sustains all other avocations of the business life. They will furnish us with reliable and permanent laborers for hire as they do in Europe out of their surplus labor. And by reason of their being all freeholders they will identify themselves with us for all social and political purposes. Moreover, when these classes of people come into our State and settle, foreign capital, which is always watching where they go, will soon follow them and aid us in making use of our water-power, in development of our mineral resources, and in building our railroads which have to connect the transit through our ports of the northwestern and our southern products and commodities to the marts of the world. These classes of immigrants, and not the mere laborers, reared prosperous States in the northwestern wilderness within the time of our recollection. And they only can help us effectively to lift up Virginia from her deplorable condition, to retrieve our ruined fortunes, and to secure the birthrights of our race to ourselves and our children. Those who debark in New York bad determined before they left Europe to where they would settle; and nothing can change their pre-determination. "We must go to the hive from which they come to induce them to immigrate to our State. Will Virginians help us to achieve this great enterprise? All that is wanted to secure its realization is their cooperation by responding to the appeal of the State Board of Immigration which we annex to this communication. Yours, very respectfully, J. D. Imboden, Domestic Agent. G. Tochman, European Agent. [This "appeal" consists of two resolutions adopted by the board in November last, which resolve, 1st. That they appeal in said resolution for a subscription of $10,000 by the people and corporations of Virginia to aid the European and Domestic Agency of Immigration established by the board. 2d. that the commissioner of the board, General Richardson, the European agents, General Tochman and Hon. B. J. Barbour, and its domestic agents, General Imboden and Colonel Roger J. Page, are authorized to canvass, jointly or severally, the counties and cities, to procure subscriptions for the object indicated; disclaiming for the State and board any authority which can make either pecuniarily responsible. The resolutions are signed by Messrs. R. B. Haxall and William H. Macfarland. General Richardson, commissioner.]
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“Immigration,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed May 17, 2022, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/810.